Industry gears up for Power Nigeria
The sixth edition of the Power Nigeria exhibition and conference, which takes place from 5-7 September at the new purpose-built exhibition venue Landmark Centre in Lagos, is once again set to attract the entire power market value chain. Decision makers and business leaders through to experts and trade professionals, will gather to deliberate the latest trends and progression within the country’s power sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of last year’s conference, keynote speaker H.E. Babatunde Fashola, Minister Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Nigeria, stated: “Now is the time to invest. The Nigerian power sector is a market that no rational investor can ignore. We must be focused and cautious, as the sector is very sensitive. There is no need for just profiteers and inflammatory talk. The grid is strong and we are looking at expansion in the future.''
This year’s Power Nigeria Agenda, which runs throughout the three-day exhibition, provides the platform for municipal, distribution, financial, manufacturing and solar leaders to come together to discuss the nation’s electricity deficiencies and solutions within the greater electricity market. The event promises to move strategic and technical discussions forward on topics such as ‘reaching last mile customers’; ‘managing project and financial risk’ and ‘building on and off-grid solar capacity’.
The 2017 edition will be its largest to date and is set to attract over 100 exhibitors from 11 countries, offering visitors a first look at some of the latest products available on the market covering transmission and distribution, cables, transformers, switchgears and lighting. This year, will also see a significant increase in country pavilions from one to three with representation from Turkey, China and India.
“If you look at all the growth areas of Power Nigeria, from exhibitor numbers and country pavilions through to planned product launches, we’re confident that this year’s is the most suited to assist the country’s growing power sector. Solar is becoming an increasingly important industry sector and we have made sure that our content streams are set up to support discussions on how to grow solar in the country,” said Anita Mathews, Group Director, Industrial Group, Informa Exhibitions.
Some of the standout exhibitors this year include Cummins, Polycab, Gil Automations, Beta Transformator and Skipper Seil.
Power Nigeria draws on the strengths of Informa Industrial Group’s geographical foothold in the Middle East and Africa through its partner events Electricx and Solar-Tec in Cairo, and Middle East Electricity in Dubai, which holds the title of the world’s largest power event.
Power Nigeria takes place at Landmark Centre, Nigeria – a new purpose-built exhibition venue in Lagos – from the 5-7 September 2017. Visitor pre-registration can be done online at https://goo.gl/rYvroj
Billionaire Kumar Birla Champions Regional Supply Chains
As the head of the Aditya Birla Group, a US$46bn firm that operates in 36 countries, Kumar Mangalam Birla is no stranger to splashy strategic moves. Yet his recent announcement that he no longer wants to acquire globally distributed supply chains stood out. While many companies have struggled to cope with shipping backlogs, his firm has chosen to pivot and focus on regional networks. Said Birla: ‘We wouldn’t look at a company or a business where you source in one corner of the world and sell in another’.
He cited protectionism, the pandemic, and the limited movement of products and people around the world as ABG’s primary causes of lost profits. And they aren’t alone. Over the past year, 900 of the U.S. and Europe’s biggest IT, defence, and financial services firms have lost an average of US$184mn apiece.
An Era of Global Disruption
Over the past few decades, low shipping rates and rapid delivery times have lulled multinational firms into a false sense of security. In the early 2000s, companies chose to take on significant global supply chain risks in exchange for increased profits. First, it made sense to manufacture higher-value goods, such as electronics, in low-cost regions throughout Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Second, first-tier suppliers started to outsource the manufacturing of specific components to second-, third-, and even fourth-tiers—leaving supply chains with extremely limited visibility.
So when COVID-19 disruptions struck certain regions, companies were caught unprepared. Usually, these events come few and far between. But over the past ten years, we’ve seen a number of ‘black swan’ events that have thrown the supply chain industry into chaos. Here’s a quick history of the most significant events in recent years, thanks to the MIT Sloan Management Review:
- 2010. China creates export quotas for rare earth elements.
- 2011. The Tōhoku Earthquake hits East Japan; flooding sweeps throughout Thailand.
- 2016-present. Trade wars between the U.S. and China hurt suppliers.
- 2020-present. COVID-19 pandemic shuts down international shipping ports.
Now, Kumar Birla is one of many who want to re-evaluate how we run our supply chains. Though his company has acquired 40+ companies in the last quarter decade, Birla intends to build up local hubs rather than expand operations.
Why Pursue Regionalisation?
Combine Chinese economic dominance, global supply chain vulnerabilities, and major government policy shifts around the world, and you have a storm brewing on the horizon for big multinational firms. As Brookings noted, ‘the biggest risk for trading opportunities in the developing world is growing protectionism in more advanced economies, often dressed up as national security protection’.
Altogether, from the U.S. to the European Union, governments are trying to protect their domestic supply chains, secure adequate stockpiles of materials, and build world-class local networks. Consider Biden’s recent executive order, which seeks to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to home soil, or Japan’s bid to open more memory chip fabrication factories near Tokyo. The Aditya Birla Group intends to react in kind. Said Birla: ‘We’re looking at regionalism as a very big theme’.
Will Others Follow Suit?
In the post-pandemic economy, global businesses must decide whether to expand or contract. On one hand, the Alibaba Group’s Cainiao Smart Logistics Network recently launched a direct flight between Hong Kong, China, and Lagos, Nigeria. On the other, the Japanese government is desperate to make its chip manufacturing domestic. Indeed, as two supply chain strategies diverge in a post-pandemic world, the one businesses take may make all the difference.
Yet Birla is confident that regionalisation is the right call. According to his words at the Qatar Economic Forum, even necessary cross-border transactions should be smaller in scope. And as the Bloomberg Billionaires Index now lists his net wealth at US$10.4bn, up 52% from 2020, he may have the cash to test his theories out. ‘Regional hubs, regional presence, regional employment, catering to regional demand’, he stated. ‘We’re a global company rooted in local economics’.